Quotations of Wisdom

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Theodore Roosevelt

I am a part of everything that I have read. [Q504]

Scott Nesler

It's a fact that facts are misused. [Q52]


There is no such thing as justice in the abstract; it is merely a compact between men. [Q807]

Václav Havel

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. [Q1745]

Pablo Picasso

The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do? [Q606]

Walt Disney

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island. [Q1193]

Thor Heyerdahl

I don't believe in war as a solution to any kind of conflict, nor do I believe in heroism on the battlefield because I have never seen any. [Q1534]

John Boyd Orr

Some wars have been due to the lust of rulers for power and glory, or to revenge to wipe out the humiliation of a former defeat. [Q1153]

Dorothy Parker

You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think. [Q2030]

Ferdinand de Saussure

Henceforth, language studies were no longer directed merely towards correcting grammar. [Q2085]

Edward de Bono

Perception does have its own logic. This logic is based directly on the behavior of self-organizing patterning systems totally different from the table-top logic of traditional reason and language. Perceptual truth is different from constructed truth. (from the book, I am Right, you are Wrong. pg 42) [Q2010]

Thomas Jefferson

Preach... a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people. Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils [of monarchial government]. [Q540]

Senator Paul Simon

But when people in the name of any religion claims to have the sole possession of truth, they have crossed the line from faith to arrogance. [Q1701]


The cobra seeks to fix the eye of the bird before it strikes. In that moment of looking at each other each accepts his role, predictor and prey. Fear creates the victim. Yet something in the bird makes it seek the eye of the cobra. — Kung Fu television series 1972 [Q523]

Allen Klein

Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up. [Q1304]

Abraham Joshua Heschel

Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason. [Q661]

Marshall McLuhan

Innumerable confusions and a feeling of despair invariably emerge in periods of great technological and cultural transition. [Q1462]

Senator Paul Simon

Paul Simon on Newt Gingrich, "When Newt is good he is very, very good and when he is bad, he is horrid." [Q1729]

Meister Eckhart

The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake. [Q1631]

George Mitchell

Why do they believe as they do? Why do they act as they do? Is there something to their position that I don't understand or that I've been wrong about? The most disturbing thing now is the rigidity of some - you know, 'We are right, we are 100 percent right, and if you disagree with us, you're not just wrong, you're not an American.' [Q2013]

Václav Havel

When a truth is not given complete freedom, freedom is not complete. [Q1758]


The years have been good. Quiet and measured. Flowing slowly like water. — Kung Fu television series 1972 [Q514]

Senator Paul Simon

Our race into more and more business mergers is generally not healthy, thought in some instances it is. Our tax laws encourage these mergers. For example, when U.S. Steel (now USX Corporation) borrowed $5.6 billion to buy Marathon Oil, it did not increase steel productivity, it did not cause any more oil wells to be drilled, it added nothing to the nation's productivity. But the interest they paid on that purchase is tax deductible — ultimately subsidized by you and me. It eats up money on the financial markets, increasing interest. [Q1732]


From my example learn to be just, and not to despise the gods. [Q1578]

Lawrence Krauss (Quantum Man)

I'd rather not understand things than be certain of something which is wrong. — Attributed to Richard Feynman [Q1366]

Elbert Hubbart

Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit. [Q1383]

Kathleen Parker

What happens when you win an argument based on half-truths? In politics, it doesn't matter. Winning is all that matters. In real life, the people lose. [Q1664]

William Hazlitt

Man is the only creature that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they could be. [Q1873]

Theodore Roosevelt

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. [Q505]

Charles Darwin

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science. [Q698]

Marshall McLuhan

A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding. [Q1445]

Senator Paul Simon

Perhaps being born the year before the Great Depression of 1929 made me fiscally conservative, and the misery faced by so many people made me socially liberal. [Q1671]

Thomas Fuller

A good life is the only religion. [Q1526]

Franklin Roosevelt

Theirs were not the gods of things as they were, but of the gods of things as they ought to be. — Speaking of Thomas Jefferson. — Monticello - Studio 360 [Q1147]

H.G. Wells

There is nothing in machinery, there is nothing in embankments and railways and iron bridges and engineering devices to oblige them to be ugly. Ugliness is the measure of imperfection. [Q461]

Václav Havel

There are no exact guidelines. There are probably no guidelines at all. The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world. In other words, I can only recommend perspective and distance. Awareness of all the most dangerous kinds of vanity, both in others and in ourselves. A good mind. A modest certainty about the meaning of things. Gratitude for the gift of life and the courage to take responsibility for it. Vigilance of spirit. [Q1770]


You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. [Q915]

Bertrand Russell

The evils of the world are due to moral defects quite as much as to lack of intelligence. But the human race has not hitherto discovered any method of eradicating moral defects.... Intelligence, on the contrary, is easily improved by methods known to every competent educator. Therefore, until some method of teaching virtue has been discovered, progress will have to be sought by improvement of intelligence rather than of morals [Q1180]

Marie Curie

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained. [Q329]

Marshall McLuhan

We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror. [Q1487]


For to err in opinion, though it be not the part of wise men, is at least human. [Q776]


The omission of good is no less reprehensible than the commission of evil. [Q786]

Tim O'Reilly

Empowerment of individuals is a key part of what makes open source work, since in the end, innovations tend to come from small groups, not from large, structured efforts. [Q546]


As soon as laws are necessary for men, they are no longer fit for freedom. [Q922]

George Carlin

They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting f#@ked by a system that threw them overboard 30 f@#$%n’ years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your f@#$%n' retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. [Q1642]

Marshall McLuhan

Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness. [Q1466]

H. L. Mencken

A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier. [Q1213]


Pleasant it to behold great encounters of warfare arrayed over the plains, with no part of yours in peril. [Q1562]

Enrico Fermi

There are two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery. [Q320]


Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts. [Q855]

Richard Ruhl

I saw a van with a bumper sticker saying "I am a vet, therefore I drive like an animal." Suddenly I realized how many proctologist there are on the roads [Q2095]

Senator Paul Simon

The words of Jesus about helping the hungry, the naked, those in prison, and others desperate seem to me to ring true and are so contrary to the actions taken over the centuries by so many in the name of Jesus. [Q1700]

Marie Curie

Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas. [Q326]

Christopher Alexander

We are searching for some kind of harmony between two intangibles: a form which we have not yet designed and a context which we cannot properly describe. [Q668]

Senator Paul Simon

We gain from listening to others, not that we accept all assertions of truth as equally valid. [Q1702]

J. Robert Oppenheimer

When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb. [Q323]


Perfect friendship is the friendship of men who are good, and alike in excellence; for these wish well alike to each other qua good, and they are good in themselves. [Q857]

Claude Pepper

Life is like riding a bicycle; you don't fall off unless you stop pedaling. [Q1641]

David Lynch

Absurdity is what I like most in life, and there's humor in struggling in ignorance. If you saw a man repeatedly running into a wall until he was a bloody pulp, after a while it would make you laugh because it becomes absurd. [Q708]

Contact the Movie

You wanna hear something really nutty? I heard of a couple guys who wanna build something called an "airplane," you know you get people to go in, and fly around like birds, it's ridiculous, right? And what about breaking the sound barrier, or rockets to the moon, or atomic energy, or a mission to Mars? Science fiction, right? Look, all I'm asking, is for you to just have the tiniest bit of vision. You know, to just sit back for one minute and look at the big picture. To take a chance on something that just might end up being the most profoundly impactful moment for humanity, for the history... of history. — Ellie Arroway [Q1409]


I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better. [Q777]

Dar Williams

And where does magic come from? I think that magic's in the learning. [Q1958]

Galileo Galilei

If I were again beginning my studies, I would follow the advice of Plato and start with mathematics. [Q936]


Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire. [Q812]

Ibni Sina

The world is divided into men who have wit and no religion and men who have religion and no wit. [Q1922]

David S Allen

Over time, the stories journalist tell about their place in democracy have changed from claiming rights enjoyed by all citizens to rights enjoyed by a privileged professional group. — Democracy, Inc. — Introduction — Page 10 [Q240]


Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fantasies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them. [Q1404]

David S Allen

Discourse democracy seeks to identify ways to make possible an open dialogue among citizen through the creation of public space absent governmental and corporate interference. — Democracy, Inc. Introduction (Page 2) [Q189]

Lisa Nesler

I have now discovered where children learn strategy, sharing, bargaining, bartering, sales, verbal, non-verbal, and social skills. It has very little to do with home life, and everything to do with the lunchroom. I witnessed bargaining and bartering while sitting silently at lunch in an elementary school. Had I not known better, I would have thought I was in Soulard Market on a Saturday morning. At least you know that when you send lunch to school. SOMEONE is eating it. And really, your kids DO eat....something....maybe Grace's PB & J, or Charlie's carrots. [Q1812]

George McGovern

Let the opposition collect their $10 million in secret money from the privileged few and let us find one million ordinary Americans who will contribute $25 each to this campaign, a Million Member Club with members who will not expect special favors for themselves but a better land for us all. — 1972 Democratic Convention, Miami Florida [Q2026]

Gautama Buddha

There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it. [Q2]

Mohandas Gandhi

My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realising Him. [Q567]

Václav Havel

Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point; only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it. [Q1749]


I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self. [Q846]

Saul Alinsky

Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict. [Q990]

Leo Tolstoy

There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth. [Q1062]

Thomas Mann

Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them. [Q1528]

Napoleon Bonaparte

History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. [Q92]

Werner Heisenberg

The problems of language here are really serious. We wish to speak in some way about the structure of the atoms. But we cannot speak about atoms in ordinary language. [Q725]

Joseph Pulitzer

I know that my retirement will make no difference in its cardinal principles, that it will always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, and never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty. [Q1386]


We ought not to treat living creatures like shoes or household belongings, which when worn with use we throw away. [Q791]

Pablo Picasso

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. [Q604]

Katherine Anne Porter

Human life itself may be almost pure chaos, but the work of the artist is to take these handfuls of confusion and disparate things, things that seem to be irreconcilable, and put them together in a frame to give them some kind of shape and meaning. [Q524]

Napoleon Hill

Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire. [Q685]

Isaac Newton

I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people. [Q367]

George Carlin

It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. [Q1597]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character. [Q418]

Woodrow Wilson

Since I have entered politics I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States are afraid of something. They know there is a power somewhere. A power so subtle, so organised, so complete and pervasive that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it. [Q1971]

Scott Nesler

The task of doing good is subjective, requiring refinement to reach its highest potential. [Q1179]

David S. Allen

Meaning, under discourse theory, is discursively redeemed; it does not exist solely in the author's intent but in the complex linguistic relationship between speaker and hearer. The key to creating that ethical discourse is allowing all citizens who want to participate to do so. — Democracy, Inc. (Page 40) [Q291]

Václav Havel

We have to accept this legacy as a sin we committed against ourselves. If we accept it as such, we will understand that it is up to us all, and up to us alone to do something about it. We cannot blame the previous rulers for everything, not only because it would be untrue, but also because it would blunt the duty that each of us faces today: namely, the obligation to act independently, freely, reasonably and quickly. Let us not be mistaken: the best government in the world, the best parliament and the best president, cannot achieve much on their own. And it would be wrong to expect a general remedy from them alone. Freedom and democracy include participation and therefore responsibility from us all. [Q1789]

Milton S Hershey

If I ever become rich, I am going to use my money to build schools to give every boy and girl an opportunity to get an education. [Q1393]

Thomas Paine

That God cannot lie, is no advantage to your argument, because it is no proof that priests can not, or that the Bible does not. [Q273]

Edward de Bono

Experience has shown that reason and logic can never change perception, emotions, prejudices, and beliefs. Yet we continue in the pious hope that if everyone would 'see reason' the world would be so much better. As we shall see later, there are very good reasons why logic will never affect emotions and beliefs. The only way to do this is through perception. But we have totally failed to develop an understanding of perception. (from the book, I am Right, you are Wrong. Pg 40) [Q2009]


I never desired to please the rabble. What pleased them, I did not learn; and what I knew was far removed from their understanding. [Q797]

Noam Chomsky

If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all. [Q156]

Thomas Paine

Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. [Q271]


Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends. [Q783]

Jimmy Wales

My original concept was to provide a free encyclopedia for every single person in the world. [Q217]

Loris Harrow

Notice what no one else notice, and you'll see what no one else knows, What you get is what you get, what you do with what you get, that's more the point. — City of Ember [Q296]

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